New York is filled with plenty of famous venues and clubs were bands play. In the â€˜70s, there were two major clubs that usually stood out among the rest. First there was Studio 54, a massive nightclub for the Disco Scene that stayed around until the early â€˜80s (Similar to the Disco Era as well.) Then we have the place that’s simply called CBGB.
A venue originally slated for Country & Bluegrass Music, the small bar quickly became known as a hot spot for the new and then upcoming genre of Punk Music with artists like Talking Heads, The Ramones, Blondie, Iggy Pop & the Stooges, The Dead Boys, and many others who gained their rise to fame.
Eventually, someone got the idea to make a film about the venue, much like Studio 54 did, and it was released about a year ago. While the 54 movie flopped on its release, I can’t help but wonder about the same thing here. So, I’m here to let you know if it lives up to the Venue’s reputation or falls flat on its face.
Hilly Crystal (Alan Rickman) is a man who simply wanted to buy a Bar. He soon gets his bar and he decides it will hold bands who will play Country, Blue Grass, and Blues music. Although not finding such artists, he does find bands that didn’t originally fit the bill but the venue soon gives birth to the Punk music genre.
One of the things that becomes highly noticable throughout the film is that it the film’s plot is heavily repetative. The one thing that mainly happens throughout is just that Punk bands play their songs on stage. The “Conflict” of the film is mostly just that the Rent on the bar needs to be paid as well as Hilly managing the Dead Boys. Speaking of the Dead Boys, a good chunk of the film is taken up by them whether it be their schennigans or playing music on stage. Their scenes didn’t add anything of real interest to the film and they could be cut out entirely.
Since CBGB was the essential Punk Rock venue, the film is filled with tons and tons of Bands and aritsts who played at the venue such as Talking Heads, Television, Patti Smith, Blondie, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, The Police, The Dead Boys, and many others. All I’ll say about their performances is that a majority of them are dull andf they don’t really seem to match the personalities of the actual musicians.
Plus the main actors are just as dull, Especially with Alan Rickman as Hilly. He seems like he just didn’t care and was almost mumbling throughout the whole film. I know that sometimes that’s how acts in some films, but at least in other films you could understand what he’s saying.
One thing you will notice almost immediately is that the music they band plays is Lip-Synced. It is incrediblely obvious when the bands start singing that they don’t match the actors’ voices. It gets old very quickly in the film and possibly could irritate some viewers.
Aside from the Lip-Syncing problem, I’ll admit the Soundtrack is the only good thing about the film. It’s pretty all the songs that are played in Montages as well as the ones the bands are playing to in CBGB. Although, this absolutely will not be able to save the film.
Overall, this was a really dull film. The film didn’t intrigue me into the history of the Venue or any of the bands in the film. Plus with the performances, the film could possibly just put you to sleep. It’s a shame that the film didn’t offer anything engaging to the viewing audience about the film. The Soundtrack may be the only thing that’s worth looking at from the film, but even that can’t hold up to the venue’s legacy.